Beta glucans are back in the media, this time is the form of a new mushroom extract.
This of course will not be surprising to our regular readers or anyone who has read The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, since the use of these compounds are part of the full-spectrum approach to canine cancer. This approach means that we use all the tools at our disposal for dealing with this terrible disease….but we do so from an evidence-based approach to make sure we get the best possible outcome for managing a disease that does not (yet) have a cure.
However, many times we can deal with cancer as if it were a chronic disease. If we have good life quality, and we also extend life on top of that, we have come out on top for our loved dogs. So here’s some further support that the use of beta glucans in dogs with cancer is a good idea! (By the way, we have more information in other posts here and here and of course in the Guide). We also discuss easy ways to get beta glucans into your dog.
An article recently published concerning an extract of coriolus versicolor, one of the mushrooms with the magical immune boosting beta glucans, showed nice imporovements in dogs with hemangiosarcoma. Now, we have to remember this is currently a very hard to treat tumor and that dogs with only spleen removal (where the aggressive form cancer is most commonly found) life expectancy is only a couple of months. Please remember that these numbers do not apply to a single dog, but are rough approximations, by the way. The good news is that the extract seemed to increase survival time up to 199 days when used at high doses. This is pretty impressive, even though the number of dogs in the study was low.
(Then again we knew beta glucans were good already which is why they are in our supplements, but we are happy the news is spreading).
The funny thing about this paper is the surrounding story however. It reminds me of when I first stared using high dose natural compounds to try to get an edge on cancer patients. The oncologists did not believe the results when they first came out. Here’s an except from an article from Science Daily, “The results were so surprising, in fact, that the researchers asked Penn Vet pathologists to recheck the dogs’ tissue biopsies to make sure that the dogs really had the disease.” (Click here for the whole article)
Go get um, full spectrum care!
Dr. Demian Dressler is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management, and the popularity of his blog here at Dog Cancer Blog. The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Dressler studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After practicing at Killewald Animal Hospital in Amherst, New York, he returned to his home state, Hawaii, to practice at the East Honolulu Pet Hospital before heading home to Maui to open his own hospital. Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics. His television appearances include “Ask the Vet” segments on local news programs. He is the author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE (Comparative Orthopedic Research Evaluation). He is also an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary.